E-Marketing for SMEs

E-Marketing for SMEs

Neeta Baporikar (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia & University of Pune, India) and Rosalia Fotolela (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1760-4.ch071
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This article describes that though there are few studies conducted on SMEs' life cycle, there are no studies specifically done around the globe with focus on electronic marketing approaches for SMEs. SMEs are flexible, so they can respond quickly to changing marketing requirements. Four approaches explain marketing role in small firms: the stages/growth model, the management style model, the management function model and the contingency model. SMEs face-marketing problems due to limited financial base, market knowledge, branding activities, expertise and over dependence on marketing ability of the owner/manager. They adopt reactive-marketing rather than planned marketing. Therefore, they face difficulties to exploit opportunities available in the market. Thus, the article aims to develop new ways of marketing approaches to every element of the-marketing mix (price, place, product and promotion). Further, as SMEs generally use a “conservative” approach to marketing, the study findings reflect that adopting electronic marketing approach can help them to offer new improved product or innovative use of existing product.
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Literature Review

SMEs can prove to be a major source of economic growth for many African countries if sufficient guidance and support on how best to overcome the challenges of adopting advanced marketing practices is available (Dlodlo & Dhurup, 2010). Further, marketing is an act of expertise, which mainstream enterprises find hard to play. Research has however revealed that any great competition needs dealing through successful innovation. As a result, firms need to take initiatives to deal with this growing global competition (Baporikar & Deshpande, 2017). It is hard to believe that movement to electronic marketing is spreading in the SMEs because of enhancing payback that is obvious day by day. Apart from worldwide prominence of SMEs, they face challenges in marketing in most of the countries, owing to changing business environment. Insufficient marketing ideas and weak attitude in leveraging complex marketing situations form operational blockages in selling the products. As a result, need persistently arises to improve the market setting which make up for an excellent marketing approach. Close observation of the-marketing challenges reveals that some of these challenges need addressing by identifying suitable approaches including electronic marketing approach. The focus of this paper is on the framework of electronic marketing approach for SMEs. Electronic marketing is the faster means of marketing in nowadays economy. One can sell and buy online while in one own house without having to step out. This means if SMEs can adopt the e-marketing approach it will help to reduce costs and enhance services. However, even though these benefits prevail in e-marketing , there are problems associated like lack of personal approach, dependability on technology, security-privacy issues, etc. According to Vuuren and Groenewald (2007), SME sector plays an important role towards contributing to the economic growth of an economy and averting the low gross national product, high unemployment and levels of poverty in countries. In addition, adoption of Internet marketing strategies if facilitated will contribute to the exponential growth of the SME sector. Despite its potential as a marketing tool, actual use of e-marketing has not met with expectations (Elliot & Boshoff, 2007).

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